Maria B.

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My artistic approach mirrors that of my therapeutic approach, where I engage curiously, flexibly, and optimistically. What used to be a product oriented activity that thrived on aesthetics and function has gradually transformed into a process of authentic exploration and acceptance of the beautiful mess that unfolds. Over the course of many years, I have built a competent understanding of clay construction. This art experience was a new exploration of the use of clay as a reflective, meaning making process. Through the radical acceptance of the art process I have deepened my understanding of the radical acceptance in the therapeutic process.

Artist Statement


Clay & Mixed Media

Perhaps like energy, the therapeutic relationship is neither created nor destroyed. It exists continuously as a living, growing, breaking, repairing organism. Rapport between therapist and person does not begin at a given time but rather, their and my individual human experience have brought us together in this space to co-explore their personal journey of healing. It is through collaborative exploration that trust builds and the inner world opens up.

Reaching reflects my process of building therapeutic rapport with a wide range of individuals. The fantasy of rapport exists in the branches of Reaching, it is tangled and nonlinear, but the intertwining roots support each other in the process of growth. The reality of rapport is portrayed in the vessel’s structure, a representation of the slow process of feeling, supporting, building, breaking, mending, and building again. The process of building this piece reflects my
experience as a developing art therapist in community mental health, and the felt importance of building rapport that is authentic and clinically supportive. This experience has shifted my understanding and dissolved expectations of the therapeutic process. The academic allure has faded and left to shine is the raw, real experience of Reaching out and Being with another.